Why I Ride
Jan 12 8:45 PM

Why I Ride

Jan 12 8:45 PM
Jan 12 8:45 PM

Welcome

I have been wanting to do a blog for a while. I've lost weight but I've still got a couple of pounds to go and I never knew how to pick up my story in the middle of it, my initial drafts were just too long, just like this note probably. However, I got the right answer at the end of last week, in one 24 hour period and decided it was the perfect way to kick off this off. Let's call it Why I Ride.

It's really a lot more about why I believe in God and why I know He is real. Before you click close, hold on, I'm not going to beat you down with the G word, I believe God has played a big role in my weight loss, it's been a journey and He has walked with me along the way, if you saw me two years ago, you would probably assume he would have had carried me. He probably did. I promise my story won't end up with an altar call, I believe He's talking to you and I will let Him. This also won't include a promise of eternal damnation if you don't believe in my God. I will let God get with you on the consequences of not paying attention to him, that's certainly not my goal or my role here. I lived in those consequences for a long time, for me obesity or being that big felt a lot like eternal damnation. Heck, eternal damnation might be hot enough where I could lose weight so it might have even been preferential to the obese thing. Some of you know how I feel, it's not right that we are made to feel that way but that's a different story.

This is just what my thoughts are on what happened to me and what I believe happens to all of us. My initial push into weight loss was just a series of signs that just kept popping up in front of me. However, they all sound like funny or dumb stories when I tell them, for example former Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun breaking his hip while riding a bike isn't exactly a writing on the wall moment nor one where you would believe that I thought God was telling me to ride a bike ... because I heard that Jim Calhoun broke his hip ... riding a bike. However, what happened last week, that's different. Someone lined that up, they had to. Whoever did it was pretty powerful, so it's either God or the Illuminati. I will go with God and let all you conspiracy folks assume it was choice B. What I don't believe is that it was a coincidence, life is full of too many coincidences to assume that. It's probably more plausible than the Illuminati but not by much, if at all.

So here we go, I hope I haven't lost you already.

Accepting your circumstances, according to a drug dealing convict

Once or twice a month, on Thursday nights I go to the Lew Sterrett correctional facility to listen to inmates who have substance abuse issues. The guys pick a topic and talk about it. My role is to listen, offer an insight if asked and keep the focus on their issues or the topic, I mainly listen. Thursday night a convict chose acceptance and for those guys, it's accepting that they have a problem that has brought them here (again in most cases) and how they can't get better if they don't accept it. Their stories are sad and most of their recidivism sprung from when they couldn't accept the fact that they can't drink or use again. They drink or use, wreck a car or break the law to pay for their habit and then end up back in jail. Accepting doing time is different than the things I can't accept, which is mainly not getting my way, but we summed things up at the end and I thought, man I could not accept that place, everything decided for me, gray striped pajamas (orange stripes if you are a runner), when to get up, what to eat, where to go, etc etc etc. I struggle when others say I can't do something, always have. If I set the "I can'ts" it's better but not when the "you can'ts" are forced on me, that makes me say why not and then I start figuring out how to do it. It's why I can relate to a bunch of convicts and addicts, they obviously struggle with that as well, just not as much as me.

Closer to home

I went home that night and had to get with my son about his car situation. The car he drove had a cracked engine block and was stuck at a mechanics shop in Norman and not able to be driven. I couldn't get it back to Dallas and I couldn't get comfortable with trying to fix it there, I just didn't know anyone so I wanted to get it home. I believed we would figure it out over his Christmas break and we would solve the issue and get my son a new car or a new engine and I told him that. For a variety of reasons, that didn't happen and Thursday night he was going to find out after he got back from seeing a movie with friends. I didn't want to make a bad decision just to make him happy and as a parent, I would have been a lot happier making him happy. I was kicking myself for telling him it would get fixed over Christmas and then not getting it done. The decision was to take him back to Norman, rent a U-haul with a car trailer and bring his car here where I can talk to my mechanic and some friends that know more about used cars than me. I braced for quite a bit of kickback but was shocked by his response, he basically said "that's cool, I can walk. I will be okay, I can get a ride if I need one, it will work out fine." He's a great kid but he's 20, that's not typical for him or any 20 year old kid. I told him several times how impressed I was with that reply and one of his comments was that he'd been working on accepting things when they don't go his way. I guarantee he didn't get that response modeled by his dad, he's seen me blow up over a lot of things way more minor than stuck at college with no car even though his dad said he would fix it by now.

Much closer to home

The next day we were driving back from Norman, pulling his Mini Cooper behind a U-Haul van. Believe me, I was not getting my way by having to do this on a work day instead of a weekend, by having to do this instead of finding an inexpensive alternative, by a million things. I was on the phone talking taxes with a variety of clients when I got a call from a guy I had been working with on a deal that was about to close, he was supposed to call me by Friday to let me now what day this week I would be getting a check, a big check. For 6 months or so I had been told this deal was golden and there would be no problem with it and for 6 months I had used the phrase "when this deal closes" about a million times.

He told me that it fell apart and we were going to have to start over somewhere else. That was not the phone call I had expected, and I was definitely not getting my way. I had often thought that the amount might get reduced or paid over time but I didn't think it would just go away. Under normal circumstances, I would be figuring out who could I holler at until this deal got going again. I would then quickly roll into really mad version of me and I would be horrible to be around for a couple of days and it would get worse when I encountered all the "after the deal closes" items that I couldn't have now. Instead, my mind turned to my son's response that was just modeled for me and for that reason I just said, "That's good, now we can move on. Let's see if we can figure something else out but thanks for letting me know." I promise, the list of times I handled something like that, like that can be counted on one finger, including that time.

Now THAT'S God

I know a lot of folks don't believe in God because they can't see God or there is no physical evidence that he is there but God may not be physical like we understand physical. He might be, I don't know, so rather than trying to fit God into my expectation box I just ask myself what are the odds that a drug addicted convict would talk about accepting his circumstances and then a 20 year old kid would then model acceptance over not getting his car back? Oh yeah, and that all this would take place exactly 24 hours before I got news that I was not prepared or equipped to accept? I'm not telling you that the creator of the universe indwelled me at that moment and did that for me, he might have, i just don't know, He didn't tell me if He did. I am telling you that I believe he gave me the tools to handle that right before I needed it and then I had it demonstrated for me how that was a much better way to handle it. It takes more faith for me to believe that those circumstances could just happen with no divine intervention than it does for me to say wow and thanks to the God who laid that out for me. Of course, the next question is why now? Why not earlier? What about all the other times? The answer I can tell you with all the confidence in the world is "I don't know" and when I say "I don't know" I mean "I don't know" because "I don't know that he didn't." I was just paying attention this time and believe it or not, that's got everything in the world to do with why I ride my bike and have lost a lot of weight.

In 2012, God sent me a message and then followed it up with sign after sign and I was actually paying attention, I really don't know why but it led to a pretty remarkable transformation. I am including a timeline of pictures of what happened because I was paying attention. My journey started in May of 2012 and I hope to be part of someone else's journey. I hope to be the impetus for someone to pay attention. I can also assure you that not all of my ramblings are this deep. I actually prefer silly and fun over deep and insightful ... most of the time.

This blog is going to be a lot about riding my bicycle and the signs I encounter, there is 120 pounds less of me now than there used to be because I ride a bicycle ... a lot ... everywhere. I also eat to ride, so I eat a bit differently than I did when I weighed between 330 and 350 pounds. Not really sure, I avoided scales. I will talk about that as well and fill in some stories along the way about what happened between then and now.

So that's it, my mantra is "Today I Can" and my goal is to inspire others by letting them know "Today You Can." Next summer I hope to ride from Vancouver Canada to Tijuana Mexico, in what I call the "Today You Can" ride but that's a working title.

I also do taxes, I will probably belly ache about that between now and April 15th. I hope you come along and I hope I have a second post.

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